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Substance Abuse Prevention

The Agency of Education will, when funding is available, help distribute grant funding, professional development, and technical assistance to support comprehensive substance abuse prevention efforts in Vermont schools. Schools implement curricula, policies, peer leadership, intervention and referral services to promote student resiliency and reduce risky behaviors. 

Substance Abuse Prevention in Schools

Comprehensive, School-based Alcohol and Drug Prevention - Recommended elements for school-based substance abuse prevention from the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education.


Blueprints Matrix: An evidence-based program list

National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s “Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents

Agency of Education Guidance for Selecting Evidence Based Substance Prevention Curricula

Cannabis Prevention Education

Vermont Department of Health Vaping and E-Cigarette Resource Page

Vermont Department of Health Tobacco Control Program Addressing Vaping in Vermont Schools Toolkit

Stanford University Vaping Prevention Curricula (Free) - Elementary, Middle and High School

Prevention Works Vermont Educator Resources for Substance Prevention

Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Every two years, the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education sponsor the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Please visit Department of Health’s YRBS page to see the full reports for both middle and high school grades, along with supervisory-union specific reports and much more. Of particular relevance to substance abuse prevention are the following 2017 YRBS Data Briefs: Marijuana Use and Frequency of Electronic Vapor Use and Other Risk Behaviors Among High School Students.

Tobacco Grant

The tobacco grant is funded using tobacco settlement funding. In 2016, the AOE redesigned its grant funding approach from an equal/universal funding approach to a competitive grant process. The previous grant cycle, beginning in FY17 and ending in FY21 (it was extended a fifth year due to COVID 19) has ended, and FY22 marks a new, three-year grant cycle.

Through a competitive grant application process in spring 2021, fifteen applicants were awarded the Nicotine and Substance Use Prevention Grant for FY22. Applications were scored primarily based on the quality of the application as well as based, to a lesser degree, on the comparative risk shown by each applicant’s local education agency (LEA) or supervisory union/school district (SU/SD)’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data.  The grant supports work across the following strategy areas to promote comprehensive school based substance use prevention with an emphasis on nicotine, with the goal of reducing the following statistics by 3% by 2024: high school lifetime electronic vapor (EVP) use, high school 30-day EVP use, high school 30-day cannabis use and high school 30-day alcohol use (one granted LEA does not contain a high school; the middle school goals are as follows: lifetime EVP use, 30-day nicotine use, lifetime cannabis and alcohol use).  The grant cycle will be three years, ending in June 2024, so long as funds remain available. The grantees are listed below:

  • Barre UUSD
  • Burlington SD
  • Calendonia Central SU
  • Essex North SU
  • Franklin Northeast SU
  • Harwood UUSD
  • North Country SU
  • Springfield SD
  • St. Johnsbury SD
  • Rutland City SD
  • Windsor Central SU
  • Windsor Southeast SU
  • Windham Northeast SU
  • Windham Southeast SU
  • Windham Southwest SU

Current grantees only: Access information about your grant and provide reporting information by logging in to the Grant Management System. For technical help, contact us at or (802) 828-1017

Substance Abuse Prevention: Helpful Links

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s Preventing Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents and NIDA’s Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood
These publications provide an excellent overview of the risk and protective factors for children, from prenatal through late adolescence, and the corresponding best practices in prevention. This includes important guidance regarding developmentally appropriate practices and the importance of having a prevention program in place starting in early childhood education, rather than only in middle/high school.

VT Department of Health Resources
The Vermont Department of Health is responsible for an array of public health campaigns, advising, community and school-based grants, data collection, and other forms of substance prevention. This website provides some links to the work they do.

Prevention Works! VT
Prevention Works! VT supports the statewide network of community-based prevention coalitions. On their website you can find more information about the coalitions near you as well as policy updates and other statewide prevention news and support. Community coalitions are excellent partners for schools in carrying out prevention work.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s substance abuse prevention resources
Here you can find resources and information on prevention work at the national level.